This is a really big box, which seems to be filled with expectations. Been a gamer since the early days of the NES. Loved the shit out of Mega Man Soccer on the SNES. Studied (American & Japanese) literature in college. Spend most of my time with my face in a book or my hands glued to a controller. These activities usually bring out my writerly hubris and make me Hulk the fuck up with words. This usually takes place over at this one website that happens to be mine, but fuck it, let's try it out here. Also, sea otters are some of the cutest things in the world. Did you know that mates hold hands while they sleep so they won't drift apart? Fact. YouTube that shit.
When I was a kid, I had to wrestle around notions of honesty and what the truth really was. Especially because, as children, it seems we're more prone to just put it all out there and go there. For example, my brother's baseball coach once asked if I thought my brother would go on to be a professional baseball player when he got older. My unusually chipper response was "no, he's gonna be an asshole like my dad!"
Did I mention my dad was there, too?
Anyway, what I'm getting at is that there are all kinds of truths just sitting out there waiting to be spoken to. It's not always pretty, and sometimes these truths aren't... You know what? Fuck the lead-in and the polite disclaimers of "what might not be true for you, may be true for some" Diff'rent Strokes type of shit. We already know the world doesn't move to the beat of just one drum!
That's actually a big part of where I was going with all of this. Products looking for as broad of an audience as possible are watered down bullshit. Which I believe literally means bull shit mixed with water, so that's gross. In this unsavory union swims IGN Entertainment.
You probably have your own ideas about where this comes from, everyone seems to have their own little gripes or more intense animosity. They say you don't get to the top without stepping on some toes, and sadly, IGN represents the top of the pyramid.
This is sad to me because I enjoy reading interesting things, even if I can't write them myself. Personality and voice are, in my opinion, absolutely the most important things to look for in a writer beyond a comprehension of high school level grammar and punctuation. They're also qualities rather than things that can be taught. Some people write in such a way that they feel moron robots built by rednecks with no comprehension of the sciences they were meddling with. This is about 85% of the staff writers for IGN at any given time, and that's being generous. Most of their editors seem to have about as much personality as Vin Diesel. If you haven't listened to an interview with that guy, you owe it to yourself to find one. My favorite is the one where he tells an interviewer that, while filming xXx, he would walk around Prague (alone) asking people on the street random questions (in English) and if they answered he gave them money. He described this as a fun game that he played much of the time he wasn't filming... Wandering aimlessly, asking questions of strangers in a tongue foreign to them.
Now, in my estimation, they basically try to get by treading on the roughly 15% of people with talent. They've had some really funny, clever people with their names in bylines. Erik Brudvig, David Clayman, and Hilary Goldstein, to name a few. More than just talent, they had integrity. If a game was shit, they called it shit. If a game was awesome, they explained why. And while IGN has Charles Onyett, Anthony Gallegos, and Levi Buchanan, they also have Ryan Clements: the antithesis of talent and integrity.
He's an innocuous enough sort of milquetoast most of the time, but he's also a horribly misguided kiss ass. When he doesn't have Greg Miller's balls on his chin (figuratively), he's busy looking unnervingly like the Eyepet and saying pretentious things about the preferences of "real gamers". Or, in the case of his editorial chastising Team Ico director Fumito Ueda for making the protagonist in The Last Guardian a boy, horribly misguided.
Like Cave Johnson, I've just been thinking about this lately, and it occurs to me that my problem is that this one editor so perfectly represents not only that company, but the direction they're going in. That is what they have to offer us. As a moderately literate gamer, I say 'no thank you', but that isn't going to stop them from buying out the competition, and that is what grieves me the most.
Basically, what all this is trying to get at is "fuck IGN Entertainment as a staff, record label, and as a motherfuckin' crew. And if you wanna be down with IGN, then fuck you, too." Long live our fair Destructoid.
As far as inaugural posts go, that probably could've been worse.